Lecture at the Catholicosate of Cilicia

eNewsletter, 26 August 2011


Upon the recent invitation of Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, the Dean of the Theological Seminary of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian, a lecturer at Cambridge University and Hon. President of St. Sarkis Church Trust, offered a lecture titled ―Armenian Church and Communities in Europe‖ to the priests, deacons and students of the seminary of the Catholicosate in Bikfaya, Lebanon. Archbishop Nareg welcomed Dr. Tchilingirian to the seminary, saying, "the presence of Deacon Hratch among us demonstrates that all Armenian students whether in seminaries or university faculties converge around the same goal, namely, serving the Armenian Church responsibly." Dr. Tchilingirian, who is also a scholar of the Armenian Church and an ordained deacon, gave a brief historical background about the formation of Armenian communities in Europe and then focused on internal and external challenges facing the church in Europe. Internally, he explained, the church needs to address the expectations and needs of third and fourth generation Armenians in Europe. There are no substantive institutional structures, such as in Lebanon, that sustain cohesive Armenian community life; and that the church has not kept pace with developments in the 21st century. Externally, Dr. Tchilingirian pointed out, the biggest challenge for the church is ideological and socio-cultural trends, especially secularism, atheism and liberalism in society. At the conclusion of the lecture, Archbishop Gorun Babian, a senior member of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, thanked Dr Tchilingirian, whom he has known for many years, for encouraging the seminarians to strengthen themselves with the faith of the Armenian Church as they prepare to serve the Church. We look forward to hearing Dr. Tchilingirian’s interesting lecture here in London, hopefully soon.

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